Continuing my "who would win in a fight" series, today's match up pits John Reese (Jim Caviziel) from CBS's "Person of Interest" against Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) from "Star Trek: The Next Generation." (Last week, Xena defeated Sydney Bristow.)
First of all, the stats: Caviziel is 6'2", while Stewart is 5'10". Caviziel would've made a really good Jack Reacher, while Stewart is a . . . Shakespearean actor.
Now, I will easily concede that if I were a taxpaying* Federation citizen, Picard would be the clear choice for who I'd want to be in charge of the flagship of the fleet. He's calm, rational, and skilled at diplomacy. But that doesn't mean he would do well in the fight to the death.
* I am not at sure whether the Federation of the Star Trek Next Gen era imposes taxes; after all, as Picard so haughtily told Alfre Woodward in First Contact, "The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century... The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of Humanity." Still, I'm guessing that, whatever their stake, Federation citizens do have some interest in how captains command their fancy starships.
Well, let's take a look at Captain Picard's prowess. Here, he is forced to rescue Lwaxana Troi (Betazoid ambassador and mother of Enterprise officer Deanna Troi), who is being held hostage by a Ferengi pirate.
Oh wait . . . wrong clip. That one isn't very impressive, is it? Here, let's try this one, from the episode "Starship Mine" (aka Die Hard on the Enterprise). Picard is alone on the Enterprise with a bunch of terrorists who are planning on stealing something from the ship. (Yes, that's the actor who will go on to play Tuvok in Star Trek Voyager).
I guess that's not bad for a dude in his 50s. Presumably, Picard is adept at 24th century martial arts, and has somehow mastered the Vulcan neck pinch, which is kind of impressive.
Let's take a look at his opponent, Reese, seen here fighting a deadly Russian mafia assassin:
Reese does take his licks in this fight, but notice that he starts off at a disadvantage, being held at gunpoint. And then he gets hit while still being held at gunpoint, and he has to begin his attack by neutralizing the gun.
I just can't see Picard beating Picard. First of all, he would probably try to negotiate his way out of fighting Reese, which would simply give Reese the first strike. Second, Picard is captain during a time when the Federation is clearly more intelligent, having issued regulations advising against having captains being part of away teams. The downside of this approach is that, from a Darwinian standpoint, Picard has not been tested against the various forms of lethality that may exist on different planets.
Reese would leave Picard fatally wounded with whatever stabbing or smashing implement happened to be most handy. Reese joins Xena in moving on to the second round.